What experience or background do you bring to your counselling and supervision practice that is uniquely yours?
The counselling and clinical supervision that I provide is informed by my own experiences of harm and resistance. In reflecting about this, I recall that in 2010 I began volunteering with a fantastic local victim services agency. I had briefly been a client of the agency before, when a partner of mine became dangerous and I needed help safety-planning. Volunteering there, I began a journey of dignity and empowerment that continues to dazzle me. The other major shift that started at that time was learning about the diversity and resilience of other people and communities. Now thinking about it, this volunteer work was possibly the single biggest turning point in my professional and personal journey. I want that for the therapy clients and supervisees whom I support; dignity in community.
What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?
Working closely with people is soul-work for me, aka my true path. I love my clients! They are all wonderful. Sitting with them I feel present, receptive, and appreciative. I’m not saying therapy is fun and games, but that I sincerely love people and appreciate my clients’ vulnerability.
What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?
I haven’t always loved myself well, and I spent years thinking that I wasn’t a good-enough person. I lost my mother at a young age, and without an understanding of the impacts of this grief, I ended up carrying sadness for years, which expressed itself as thoughts that I was permanently broken. As a young woman, I realised how gendered some of this was, and that I had been absorbing disempowering cultural messages about my worth as a woman. It’s incredible how life has helped me to heal these things. Both the part about being a woman and the part about grief were helped by meeting people that understood those parts of me, as well as taking the time to understand myself without judgment. Once I was ready, I did chunks of this healing work with counsellors and traditional knowledge-keepers.
What have you learned from your work?
Human beings need unconditional love and acceptance to function on just a basic level. If we have enough good support, we can make wonderfully creative decisions, take chances, and flourish.